Israel’s foul-mouthed PR genius and its slick army blogging machine
It’s been a bad week for Israel’s famed public relations machine, thanks to… Israel!
First came the story of a social media unit, comprising university students recruited by the national Israeli student association, whose purpose is to pimp for the Zionist state on Twitter. The unit is headed by one Daniel Seaman, who’s proved to be a bit of a public relations genius.
As one might expect of a PR genius, Seaman, who used to be director of the Israeli government’s press office, has a way with words. According to the Guardian newspaper, this silver-tongued high flier responded to a demand by the Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, for an end to new Jewish squatter colonies with Shakespearean eloquence: “Is there a diplomatic way of saying ‘Go Fuck yourself’?”
This was, of course, nothing personal. As the Guardian report makes clear, Seaman’s broadmindedness is without parallel.
At the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset, Seaman posted: “Does the commencement of the fast of the Ramadan means that Muslims will stop eating each other during the daytime?”
In response to a Church of Scotland report that argued that Jews do not have a divine right to the land, he wrote: “Why do they think we give a flying fuck what you have to say?”
Japanese diplomats complained about comments Seaman made on commemorations for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombs. “I am sick of the Japanese, ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Peace’ groups the world over holding their annual self-righteous commemorations for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims,” he wrote. “Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the consequence of Japanese aggression. You reap what you sow…”
With such talent at the apex of Israel’s hasbara machine, it came as no surprise that the Jewish state’s attempt to show that the Gaza Strip was not an “open-air prison” proved an outstanding success.
The Times of Israel reports that, to demonstrate that life in the besieged Strip was all hunky-dory, the Israeli armed forces published a blogpost entitled “What happened to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza?”. This featured a number of pictures that it claimed show the “beautiful beaches and hotels… pristine grocery stores and markets heaving with fresh produce… even… an Olympic-size swimming pool”. According to the Israeli newspaper,
The pictures did indeed show a different reality to the Gaza the world has become accustomed to seeing over the past several years.
But there was a slight problem with one of the snaps, purporting to show “The shopping mall for the latest fashion from overseas…”
The gorgeous mall in the photograph is not actually in Gaza. It is, rather, the Suria KLCC mall… in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
Several commentators on the site noted the mistake, and the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] quickly removed the offending photograph, but not before the credibility of the entire piece took a beating.
May Daniel Seaman, his Twitter pimps and the Israeli army bloggers flourish!